Hitch: The Life And Times And Alfred Hitchcock

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9780306806773: Hitch: The Life And Times And Alfred Hitchcock

One of cinema's greatest directors, a virtuoso visual artist, and a genius of the suspense genre, Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980) is universally known for such masterpieces as Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds. The author, a distinguished film critic and friend of Hitchcock's, enjoyed his full cooperation. Based on numerous interviews, with photos from the private family albums, and an in-depth study of the making of his last film, this biography of the director is as intriguing, revealing, perverse, and entertaining as any Hitchcock classic.

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Review:

It's likely that readers who have watched many of Alfred Hitchcock's films can't help but have noticed how frequently he depicts fetishism, sadism, and voyeurism. Because Hitchcock was a reclusive man and a guarded interview subject, almost everyone who writes about him turns to his work for insight into his life. These writers generally conclude that the director himself was possessed by the very pathologies that resound in his movies.

But John Russell Taylor didn't have to go that route. He wrote this biography with the participation and blessings of the man himself. In Hitch, Taylor admits that his subject often projects his fantasies onto the screen. He also provides a good deal of insight into Hitchcock's domineering, obsessively courteous demeanor. But the focus here is on the details of Hitchcock's life, the preparation and production of his movies, and his relationships with the countless cinematic luminaries who worked with him, including Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, and James Stewart. --Raphael Shargel

About the Author:

John Russell Taylor is an English critic and author. He was born in Dover and attended Dover Grammar School before obtaining a double first in English from Jesus College, Cambridge.

He is the author of a vast number of critical works on cinema, and of biographies of important Anglo-American film figures including Orson Welles, Vivien Leigh and Alfred Hitchcock, whom he befriended in LA while teaching at the University of Southern California in the 1970s. Taylor's biography of Hitchcock is the only one to be written with its subject's full cooperation - and led him to write an intensive study of Hollywood's émigré in his book Strangers in Paradise: The Hollywood Emigres 1933-1950.

Taylor has written regularly for publications such as The Times, Sight and Sound, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times throughout his career and was art critic for The Times until 2005.

He now lives in London and West Wales.

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